Pre-determiners are used to modify a noun. They are placed before the central determiners. Follow the article to learn about them.

What Are Pre-determiners in English Grammar?

What Are Pre-determiners?

In English grammar, pre-determiners are words that are used before a determiner but are still part of the noun group. Pre-determiners are often quantitative words, that may be placed before an article or other determiner(s), for example 'all' in 'all the cookies' or 'both' in 'both her arms.'

What Are Different Types of Pre-determiners?

Pre-determiners are categorized into four main groups:

  1. multipliers
  2. fractions
  3. intensifiers
  4. distributives (both, all, half)


Pre-determiners do not usually co-occur. This means that two pre-determiners cannot be used together at the same time.

Multipliers as Pre-determiners

A multiplier is a word that is used to indicate how many times something is multiplied.
Phrases such as double, three times, twice, four times, etc. are all multipliers. These multipliers are used before countable or uncountable nouns as pre-determiners. Check out the examples:

He is twice the man you are.

You should brush your teeth three times a day.

Fractions as Pre-determiners

Fractions are used to describe numbers smaller than one or they can show a proportion of a particular noun or amount such as 'five and three quarters, five-eighths, three quarters, etc. Check out the examples:

I spent five-ninths of my salary.

Two-third of your work was wasted.

using pre-determiners to modify a noun

Intensifiers as Pre-determiners

Intensifiers (also called attitudinal) are adverbial phrases that can strengthen a noun or adjective. There are different types of intensifiers in English, but some of them are used as pre-determiners. Take a look at some of the most common ones of these pre-determiners:

  • such
  • rather
  • what
  • quite

'Such' and 'rather' are used as the same meaning before determiners. they both intensify the meaning and feeling of a noun phrase. Take a look at the examples:

Do not be such a baby.

You have rather a fast car.


Remember 'such' and 'rather' can be used as pre-determiners only when the determiner is indefinite ('a, an') or zero article. With definite article the and other determiners such as possessive and demonstrative determiners, 'such' and 'rather' cannot be used as pre-determiners.

'What' as a Pre-determiner

We can use the term 'what' before determiners or zero article to show surprise or disappointment. In this case, it is an exclamative mood and has an exclamation mark at the end. Check out the examples:

What a nice car!

What a pity!

What cold weather!


Again, this word can only pre-determiner indefinite or zero articles.

'Quite' as a Pre-determiner

The phrase 'quite' can be used as the same meaning as the adverb 'very.' This pre-determiner can be used before every type of determiner. Check out the examples:

He is quite my type.

He made quite a terrible cake.

Distributives as Pre-determiners

Among all the distributives only two of them are used before determiners. 'All' is used with countable
and uncountable nouns, but 'both' is used only with countable nouns. Check out the examples:

All your money is gone.

All these books are mine.

Both my friends are mad at me.


Remember both and all are not used with indefinite article 'a' or 'an.'


Pre-determiners are used before central determiners to make a set of determiners that can modify a particular noun. Here is the list of pre-determiners.

  • multipliers
  • fractions
  • intensifiers
  • distributives (both, all, half)


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Post-determiners are terms that are used after central determiners. They are all used to modify the noun phrase. follow the article to learn more.

Determiner Order

As you know, pre-determiners, determiners, and post-determiners can be used together to modify a noun. In this lesson, we will learn about their order.

Possessive Determiners

Possessive determiners are types of function words used before a noun to show ownership or possession such as 'my,' 'your,' and 'his.'

Interrogative Determiners

There are three interrogative determiners in English: what, which, and whose. In this lesson we will go through each one of them.

Demonstrative Determiners

Demonstrative determiners in English are this, these, that and those. They are used to identify the person or thing that is being referred to.

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